Audi now owns 1% of SAIC Volkswagen
Audi, Volkswagen’s luxury carmaker, now owns one percent of SAIC Volkswagen, SAIC Motor's chairman Chen Hong said today.
Volkswagen AG transferred the one percent stake in SAIC Volkswagen to Audi. Presently, SAIC Group holds 50 percent in SAIC Volkswagen, Volkswagen AG owns 38 percent, Volkswagen China holds 10 percent, while Audi and Skoda hold one percent each.
Industry insiders said the change in share structure laid the road to prepare for the development and production of the first car under SAIC Motor and Audi.
Cheng is confident that SAIC Volkswagen will be able to manufacture and sell cars under the Audi brand.
As part of Volkswagen AG, Audi is not allowed to build its own cars in China as its parent already has two partners including SAIC Volkswagen and FAW Volkswagen.
Audi started producing vehicles in China with its Chinese partner FAW Group about three decades ago.
In November 2016, SAIC Motor and Volkswagen AG signed a memorandum of understanding in Germany to collaborate long term, which allows SAIC Volkswagen to produce and sell Audi cars as well as set up a 50-50 new joint venture.
The memorandum saw Audi adding Shanghai-based carmaker SAIC Motor as a new joint venture partner in China, a move which caused concerns and opposition from FAW-Volkswagen Audi dealers in China. The dealers said they were not informed of the deal in advance and they faced high inventory and other financial pressures. They also mentioned that their interests will be damaged due to the new joint venture.
On November 30, 2016, Audi said that it would suspend its discussions about the new joint venture with SAIC Motor to pacify the FAW-Volkswagen Audi dealers.
On May 19, 2017, Audi, FAW Group, FAW-Volkswagen and Audi dealers finally reached a consensus and agreed that the cooperation between SAIC Motor and Audi would begin after Audi sales reached 900,000 units in China.
During the Beijing Auto show in April, Audi China President Joachim Wedler said the project between SAIC and Audi was proceeding as planned and Audi cars from SAIC Volkswagen will not hit the market until 2022.
From January to May this year, Audi sold 258,400 new cars in China, up 27.4 percent year on year. Audi sales in China accounted for one third of its global sales in the period.